Firstly this is an admission.
What ‘they’ say about making work on your own is TRUE. It’s hard. Not that I ever really doubted ‘them’. Of course, that doesn’t mean you (I) shouldn’t do it. I always knew it would be hard. Maybe I even wanted it to be hard. I wanted to test myself, to prove I could do it by myself.
Except of course I can’t.
I’m not talking about coming up with ideas and content. I’m not even talking about that painful process of forcing yourself to physically stand up and ‘do’ something. I can and I have been doing that. I am talking about feeling like I need to be Superwoman, like I need to do it ALL on my own. To go from being on my own at home, in the street, in life and also being on my own in the studio. And that is nobody’s fault but mine. Because this is where it has got messy.
Being alone is fine. Making work on your own is fine…. Too much of anything is bad.
I have come to realise that what I need in order to be able to be productively and usefully on my own in the rehearsal space is to spend less time on my own (and in my head) outside of the rehearsal space. I haven’t done that recently and I’ve come a little unstuck – and I’m not just talking about the show here. I’ve spent too much time listening to my own personal demons and not enough time being excited, challenged and inspired by others – in relation to my work and life in general, cos let’s face it, it’s all brain food. To enjoy the moments of easy breathing and comfortable interaction and relaxation. I’ve spent too much time focussing on the negatives, worrying about the possible outcomes of scenarios that may never occur and assuming the worst. By isolating myself in my life I lost the genuine pleasure of being alone in the space and playing. The project brief became another chore… Speaking with other artists I know that everyone falls a little out of love with their project every now and then so I am sure it will pass. I can also change the amount of time I spend alone without changing the brief. There are people supporting the show that I can meet with more regularly to chew the fat and talk things through with as well as getting in to the space as outside eyes to keep giving me deadlines to focus on.
This was always supposed to be about learning how I make work by myself. I think I just learned a valuable lesson, the hard way.